One of the most important indicators of the quality of a puppy as a future pedigree producer is a bite. The topic is important both for show pets and for pets, because a puppy’s malocclusion can develop into gum disease, disruption of the digestive system and, as a result, heart failure.
Types of Bites
The concept of “proper bite”, individually for each individual breed, which is good for the Bulldog, is a disqualification defect for the German Shepherd. In a global sense, cynology distinguishes the following types of bites:
- Orthognathia, scissor or normal - the front of the lower incisors is in contact with the back of the upper, see photo below. There is no gap between the incisors, however, the teeth do not rub against each other. The bite is called normal, due to its naturalness and prevalence. All wild dogs have a scissor bite, which allows them to efficiently gnaw meat and bones, bite and hold the prey. Almost all service dogs have a normal bite, for example, Labrador, German and other shepherds, hunting, and hounds.
- Tick-shaped or straight - when closing the jaw, the front incisors converge butt, fangs and chewing teeth close completely or not completely. A direct bite affects the health of the incisors, which wear out much faster. Incomplete closure of chewing teeth leads to problems with chewing food, and as a result, indigestion. A very common deviation for small breeds, for example, Chihuahua, York, Spitz.
- Progression, snacking, bulging chin or bite of a bulldog - the lower jaw, respectively, the incisors and / or fangs bulge in front of the upper. Snack is a breed sign for a number of dogs with a short muzzle, for example, Boxer.
- Prognathy or overshot - Disqualification defect for all known dog breeds. The lower incisors do not touch the upper due to the shortened lower jaw.
- Asymmetric or skew - Like a lack of focus, it is guaranteed to disqualify a dog from breeding. In addition, an asymmetric bite can have serious consequences for both the appearance and health of the dog.
Note! Defects of the dental system include not only the bite, but also a number of other deviations - disturbed proportions of the jaws, incorrect number of teeth, abnormal structure of the jaw box and / or joints.
Causes of malocclusion in puppies
The first thing that worries the owners of breeding dogs is whether it is possible to correct the wrong bite in the puppy, to hope for an exhibition career and obtaining full-fledged offspring. Correcting the bite is possible and necessary in any case, depends on the health and full life of the dog. Optimum time is age from 5 to 12 months.
Unfortunately, malocclusion is a genetic defect, which is why judges are so strict in terms of culling. Heredity is the only reason that makes breeding impossible due to malocclusion. When choosing a puppy, examine the parents of the future pet, and if in doubt, require written confirmation of the genetic usefulness of the dog. If you are unlucky and the pet has been disqualified, it is recommended to sterilize the animal at an early age, at least get rid of the mythical idea that "The dog needs to be born for health."
Important! If your dog has a malformation in the form of a malocclusion, be prudent and do not engage in a "breeding business." If you have the hope of earning money on puppies - remove the “pink glasses”, the only thing you can count on is the prospect of notoriety. Reproduction of genetically inferior representatives of the breed is done only by people who do not understand the destructive consequences of their activity. The deterioration of the exterior of the rocks is a direct and shameful merit of the "scouts"!
Please note that if you show the pet with the wrong bite to the exhibition expert, you will receive a “minus”, regardless of the cause of the violation. If the puppy has the wrong bite for reasons not related to genetics, with due care and care, the dog has every chance of an exhibition career and participation in breeding. It's a shame, but most of the root causes of acquired malocclusion lie in insufficient care or oversight on the part of the owners:
- Untimely change of primary teeth - it happens that the already shaken milk tooth does not fall out and interferes with the growth of the molar tooth. With timely contact with a veterinarian and removal of a milk tooth, curvature of the dentition can be avoided.
- Disadvantages of education - a puppy gnawing everything that gets into its mouth risks spoiling the bite at an early age. You will not be able to force the baby not to bite, his teeth are cut and his gums itch. The only right way out is to acquire high-quality teething toys and appropriate education.
- Injuries - Of course, no one is safe, but each owner must understand that games can lead to undesirable consequences. By the way, fans who poke a puppy with their nose in a puddle often injure their jaws, and then they are surprised by crooked teeth.
- Invalid games during the period of change and growth of molars - It would seem that everyone knows that only a pet is involved in the toy’s tug, the owner just holds the “sharing object”. However, on the dog’s platform you can see a puppy hanging on a tire from a wheel or rivalry of two kids in the form of a tug of a stick.
- Rickets or lack of vitamins and minerals - weak and thin teeth or loose gums, this is a direct path to malocclusion. It would seem that everything is simple - vitamins, a balanced diet and the problem has been resolved, in fact, rickets of puppies are quite common, and many owners, especially "beginners" do not even suspect that their pet is unhealthy.
- The abnormal shape of the frenum leads to a violation of the plasticity of the lips. Sorry for the pun, but too tight lips crush your teeth. With timely contact with a specialist, the problem is quickly and easily solved by trimming bridles.
- Insufficient or excessive number of teeth - in the first case, the bite is corrected with the help of the orthodontist’s doctor, in the second case, the extra teeth are removed during puppyhood and the jaw row “falls into place”.
Note! For many breeds, slight malocclusion during puppyhood is considered acceptable. If the doctor orthodontist advised you to "wait and appear regularly", you can safely go for a follow-up examination.
How to fix a puppy's bite
If you notice a defect at an early age - you are lucky, correcting the bite up to 12 months, most often, ends successfully. By the way, dog orthodontists are taken to work with adult dogs. What to do first? - Observe preventive measures to maintain the correct position of the dentition and without delay, consult a specialist.
An incorrect bite in a puppy is corrected by wearing braces that physically direct the growth of teeth in the right direction. There is a theory of jaw massage for bite correction. We must pay tribute to the stubborn owners who "dominated" the dogs to the point that the teeth corrected their situation. Strictly speaking, such methods can be called barbaric. Massage consists in physically loosening the molars for their subsequent “setting into place”.
Note! Dogs with a straightened bite may not be allowed to breed.